The previous post raises a few philosophical questions about some other laws governing sex.
Why is it that in some states, such as Connecticut, 16 is the age of consent, whereas in most others, it's 18? Do girls in Connecticut mature more quickly? Theoretically, a 50 year old man could have consensual sex with a girl on her 16th birthday here and be within the law. But if that same man has sex with a girl in Massachusetts the day before her 18th birthday, he is committing statutory rape. Does that seem right?
Everybody disapproves of someone who has sex with a retarded person. Back in 1989, four high school boys from Glen Ridge, NJ, got into big trouble when they had sex with a retarded girl. The cutoff for retardation is generally considered to be an IQ of 70. But how about someone with a score of 75, or 85? People with those IQs are generally not able to make intelligent decisions either. Is it okay to have sex with them?
In the same way that it's considered worse for a 50 year old man to have sex with a 15 year old girl than it is for an 18-year-old to do the same, is it worse for a man with an IQ of 150 to seduce a woman with a low IQ than for a man with an IQ of 90 to do so?
Of course, any time a line is drawn, anyone can use similar logic to point out the absurdity of its location. I am pro-choice. But I once heard someone point out that if you abort a baby the minute before it's born, you've done something perfectly legal, yet if you kill it the minute after it's born, you've committed murder. I had to admit, the distinction did seem awfully arbitrary.
Lines are by definition fine. And exactly where they get drawn is always going to be a judgment call. I certainly believe that 14-year-olds should be off limits to adults for sex. And also that 21-year-olds ought to be allowed to make their own decisions -- and mistakes. But the precise location of any such line will inevitably ignore human differences in wisdom and maturity.
After all, even intelligent, experienced 84-year-olds can make stupid decisions in that regard.
Just ask Hef.